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Human Behavior in Organizations
(45-792) Mini 1, 2000

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Section A (10:30 — 12:20)

Professor Denise M. Rousseau
Graduate School of Industrial Administration
Carnegie Mellon University

Course Overview

This course is designed to increase your effectiveness as a manager and team member by introducing you to frameworks for understanding organizations and the behavior of people and groups within them. This course will focus on the following critical activities related to managerial and team effectiveness: managing interdependence, making decisions, motivating performance, negotiating differences, and working within an organization's structural, political, and cultural environment.

Course Objectives

This course is concerned with improving your skills as a manager and team member to deal with the increasing rate of change in organizations. The diversity of workforces and markets, domestically and globally challenges the skills and creativity of modern workers. New technologies and ever greater interdependence, between individuals, work groups, and organizations, drastically change the information we have and need. My personal goal for this course is to help you become a more sophisticated, flexible problem solver, team member, and leader in these new work environments.

Your active participation in this course will help you better understand:

  • The impact of formal and informal organizational structures on organizational effectiveness and how to navigate within those structures.
  • The nature of individual behavior in organizations as it affects your ability to work with others and help people work together.
  • The nature of group processes as they affect your team’s decision making and decision implementation.
  • The role of power and politics as it affects your survival in the organization.
  • Organizational culture as means of binding the organization together and its influence on your experiences and expectations.

Course Logistics

Instructor: Dr. Denise M. Rousseau

GSIA Room 381A
Phone:?268-8470 Fax: ??268-5338
E-mail: rousseau@andrew.cmu.edu
Office Hours:TBA
Secretary: Carole McCoy, 2102 Hamburg Hall, 268-6077

Teaching Assistants: Christa Houser, Brandi Pearce, Violet Ho

Required Readings:

  • Text: Greenberg, J. (1999). Managing Behavior in Organizations. Prentice-Hall.
  • Readings Packet containing articles, book chapters, and cases.
  • Behavioral Norms

      (1) Individual Participation: Participation in class discussions is an important aspect of the learning experience. You will only get out of the class what you put in. In addition, sharing your knowledge and insight benefits the entire class. Constructive contribution to the class discussion and genuine listening to others is an important element of class participation. Keep in mind that high quality participation is the goal, not high quantity of airtime. In other words, it's not how much you talk, it's what you say that's important.

      (2) New Business: Each class will begin with a poll of new business items. These are brief ("sound byte") reports on events (in the news -- front page, business, or sports section; GSIA; your personal experiences) pertinent to human behavior in organizations. This is your chance to extend your learning to understanding outside events. Remember, HBO is everywhere.

      (3) Readings: You are expected to read all the materials, and in your reading, you should continually ask yourself the following two questions:

        (a)Do I understand the theory/principles of this material?

        (b)So what? What are its implications? How would I apply this as a manager?

        You are asked to actively participate by raising these questions as well as others during our class time.

      (4) Team Participation: You will be assigned to study groups of 6-7 people during the first week of class. These teams will complete the group case analyses together. Although there are only two graded team assignments required as part of this course, teams are encouraged to meet throughout the mini to enhance your understanding of the concepts and tools presented in the course. For example, team members might meet regularly prior to class to discuss the assigned material, share ideas, or discuss a recommendation or action plan for a case prior to class discussion. Finally, in working together as a team in this course, you will have the opportunity to apply some of the concepts to your work team experience.


    Your grade will be based upon:

      1. Two Written Group Case Analyses--70% (35% each)

      2. One In-class Case Presentation--10% Present one of the written cases.

      3. Reading Logs--10%Due at beginning of each class session.

      4. Q & A Jury Performance--10% Quality of questions raised by your study group during group case presentation


    1. Group Case Analyses

    Three case analyses will be graded in this course

  • (1) HCM Beverage Company,
  • (2) DMR Group, Inc. (A) and
  • (3) Global Multi-products Chile.
  • Each study group will write up two cases, one of which they will also present. For the third case, the group will act as a Q&A (Question and Answer) Jury questioning the case presenters from another group. The written cases are to be a maximum length of 7 double spaced pages. In addition, when presenting, the team should provide the instructor with a copy of the overheads to be used in the presentation. The cases to be written or presented by each group will be determined using a lottery system the first week of class.

    Each case is found in the readings packet. The case analyses have two purposes:

      a) To give you the opportunity to apply the class concepts in the solution of practical problems.

      b) To provide your group with a common task through which you can learn to be more effective group members.

    Assignment questions are provided in the syllabus for each case. In addition, more general guidelines for analyzing cases and the grading criteria are provided in Appendix A. This general guideline is designed to help you structure your analyses.

    The written case analysis will be evaluated based on how well you identify and analyze problems in the case (including how thoroughly and appropriately course concepts are used in the analysis), the adequacy of and support for the recommendations made, and the identification of potential downsides to your solutions. In addition, written case analyses will be judged based on the clarity and technical quality of the writing and report presentation. The analysis should not exceed seven double spaced pages. Appendices containing relevant charts, figures, or other material may be included in addition to the 7 pages, if needed.

    The in-class presentation should be no more than 12 minutes in length, and include the central components of your analysis: problem identification, problem analysis, solutions, and potential limitations to your solutions. On the day of your case presentation, you are to turn in a copy of your overheads in addition to your written paper. Presentations will be evaluated based on the criteria identified above. In addition, class presentations will be judged based on the quality and clarity of presentation. All group members should participate in the presentation in some way. Class members will be asked to evaluate all presentations using the form in Appendix B to this syllabus.

    2.Reading Logs

    In order to ensure high quality discussions in class, class members must have completed and thought about the assigned readings prior to class. Readings will be briefly discussed to check for understanding at the beginning of each class. Be prepared to answer questions regarding the readings, and more importantly, to ask them.

    To facilitate the class preparation process, you are expected to turn in a short reflection on 14 of the 22 readings marked with an asterisk (*) in the syllabus (think of the other 8 as "freebies" — use them on days when you can’t quite get everything done!). This reflection should include, (1) a short (1 paragraph) summary of the thesis of the article, and (2) your reactions to the article or comments regarding how it relates to your experience (past, present, or future) in the workplace. These reflections will be read! While the content of the reflections will not be explicitly graded, students whose logs do not demonstrate reflection on the issues raised in the reading will not receive credit for that reading. Reading logs will be collected at the beginning of class. Late papers will not be accepted.

    Question and Answer Jury

    Study groups will be assigned the role of a Q&A Jury for the assigned case they do not write up. Each group will need to discuss the case prior to the day of class presentations. During class, you will be assigned another group to question and critique after their presentation. Your role is to probe more deeply into their analysis of the case, asking the presenting team questions about important but vague points in their presentation. You will be graded on the quality of your questions. High quality questions help the presenting team consider possible weaknesses in their analysis and provide the team opportunities to consider their analysis in more detail. Questions should be constructive rather than attacking. You will also critique the team using the form provided in Appendix B of this syllabus. High quality critiques include constructive comments on content as well as delivery of the presentation.


    1.Team Participation

      Working in your team is an important aspect of the course. Your goal should be to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your group meetings over the 7 weeks of the course. To help you do this, each group will be provided an electronic b-board (org.gsia.hbo.weingart.group#). You are to use this b-board to communicate with other group members, post the minutes from your meetings, and to post a list of "best practices" from each meeting. I will occasionally take a look at your b-board to see how your team is progressing.

    2. Team Contract

      Each team will be expected to complete a team contract. This contract lays out expectations the team holds for team members. There are several steps in this process. First, team members should individually identify their own expectations of other team members. (See sample in Appendix C.) Second, share these expectations with one another at your first meeting. Third, develop a team contract to which all team members can agree (all group members should sign off on it). Fourth, hand in your contract to me by 9/7. I will not grade this for content, but rather look to make sure it’s complete.

    Group Process Effectiveness

    Group work provides a large part of the learning experience in this course. Therefore, you are expected to meet with your groups regularly to complete the three group assignments as well as to share ideas for the other cases we will be discussing in class (with the exception of the Carter Racing case). You will find that you need to meet at least twice per group case analysis and that your first group meeting should occur early in the mini, in order to coordinate amongst yourselves and write your group contract.

    Throughout the course you will be expected to work with your study group not only on the scheduled assignments, but also on the process of the group itself. Although there is no one right way to work in groups, there are some general practices that help make groups more productive:

      (1) Meet regularly (and if possible at the same time and place).

      (2) Develop a "contract" of what it means to be a good group member (include expected behaviors, sanctions for violators, preferred styles for making decisions, etc., see example at end of syllabus).

      (3) Spend the first five minutes of each meeting (especially the first) warming up. You could share something personal about yourself with the group, e.g., "People usually tell me I am too...," "When I walked in here I was worried about..." Or talk about something that happened to you that day.

      (4) Appoint group members to different roles for each meeting. There are typically four roles to be filled: observer, group leader/process facilitator, timekeeper, and scribe. Make sure you rotate the persons filling these roles for each meeting.

        (a) An observer should be assigned for all or part of each meeting. Observers do not participate in the discussion during that time, but instead focus on the way in which the group works together (who introduces ideas, who builds on ideas, who directs conversation, who is silent, etc.) At the end of the meeting, the observer provides feedback to the group on what occurred during the meeting.

        (b) Appoint a group leader/process facilitator prior to each meeting. The leader can create an agenda, keep the group on task, etc. The agenda should be provided to team members prior to the meeting, using the group b-board, if desired. While the leader has primary responsibility for ensuring that the group remains focused on the task, agenda, and goals, all group members share that responsibility.

        (c) The timekeeper makes sure that the agenda is being followed and that the group is not spending too much (or too little) time on any one aspect of the task.

        (d) The scribe records the ideas generated so that the group will not lose ideas or information generated. The scribe should use a flip-chart so that all group members can refer to the text generated. (A good technique is to tape completed pages on the wall so that everyone can refer back to previous notes.) These notes should be posted on the team b-board so they can be reviewed prior to subsequent meetings. (Note: In a small group, you might combine the roles of scribe and observer.)

      (5) Use the last 5 minutes of each meeting to identify best practices, answering the questions, "What was good about the way we ran the meeting?" "What should we do differently to make the meeting more effective next time?"

      (6) Don't spend too much time in meetings (evidence suggests that about 90 minutes is an optimal time for a problem solving and decision making group meeting).

      (7) After completing a case analysis, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the group’s work process and provide feedback to one another using the Team Evaluation Form in Appendix D. Each group member should complete the form independently, then share the ratings with one another as a basis for more detailed feedback and discussion. You can do this privately or in the group, depending on your group’s preference.


    We have established an electronic bulletin board for this class (org.gsia.hbo.rousseau). Please use it to discuss any topic pertinent to the HBO class or course content. This b-board is an appropriate place to ask more substantive questions, as well as questions pertaining to your group process. The TA’s and professor will regularly use the b-board to send messages to the HBO community. For example, if a classmate raises a question during office hours that we think is of general interest, we will post our answer, correction, update, etc. to all of you. Be sure to check and use the b-board regularly.

    GSIA Honor Code

    The Graduate School of Industrial Administration's honor code states the following:

      All members of the GSIA community -- the faculty, the staff, and the students -- are expected to abide by a code of ethics befitting a quality academic institution. Honesty and trust are the cornerstones of such conduct. Members of this community manifest their confidence in the honor system by maintaining the highest standards of personal conduct; by voicing their commitment to ethical behavior; and by refraining from extraordinary precautions and other distrustful behavior. Furthermore, community members contribute to an atmosphere of trust by preventing temptations for dishonesty. Should the behavior of either an individual or a group appear questionable, it will be evaluated within the guidelines of fair and just procedures to determine the appropriate actions.

    The honor code applies to all activities in HBO. As your instructor, I promise to refrain from extraordinary precautions and I promise not to create an environment that may tempt you to violate the honor code. As a student, I trust that you will uphold and abide by the honor code.

    Team assignments: Each group written case analysis is to be completed in consultation with members of one's own team, without the aid of other teams. You should not discuss the assignment with members of other teams or with students who have completed the assignment in the past.

    Individual assignments: The reading log entries are to be written independently, without the aid of other people. You may not copy the assignments or portions of the assignments of other students, and you may not collaborate with others in writing individual assignments. However, you are welcome to discuss the readings with classmates prior to writing up your reflections.

    Case notes: You should not make use of any case write-ups prepared by current or previous students, or case notes prepared by students or instructors here or at other universities. Use of such notes interferes with the learning process and will be considered a violation of the honor code.

    Course Schedule


    1. Tuesday 8/29 Multiple Perspectives on Human Behavior in Organizations



        Packet (RP) Syllabus

        Text Greenberg Ch. 1 (skim): What is Organizational Behavior and How Do We Learn About It?


        Introduce course

        Review syllabus


      Out of Class Assignment: Psychological Contract Inventory


    2. Thursday 8/31Working in Groups


        Text Greenberg Ch. 7: Groups and Teams in Organizations*

        RPJay How to Run a Meeting*

        RPSyllabusGroup Process Effectiveness (pp. 6-7)

        RP SyllabusCase Analysis Grading Criteria and Suggestions (pp. 14-15)

      Class: Meeting Management Video

      Out of Class Assignment: Write team contract with team members (due 9/7).

    3. Tuesday 9/5 Attitudes toward Work and Psychological Contracts


        Text GreenbergCh. 4: Work-Related Attitudes*

        RP Rousseau Managing Diversity for High Performance*

      Prepare: RPCaseWhen a New Manager Stumbles, Who is at Fault?

      Class: Case Discussion

      Discussion Questions: When a New Manager Stumbles, Who is at Fault?

      What is the psychological contract Goldstone has at Bulwark? What’s missing? How is the contract incomplete?

      Do other managers share the same expectations as held by Goldstone? How do they differ and why?

      What is the potential influence of unfulfilled contracts on the attitudes and commitment of organizational members?

      What should Goldstone do now to manage the situation?

    4.Thursday 9/7 Motivating Performance


        Text GreenbergCh. 3: What Motivates People to Work?*

        RP Kerr On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B; More on the Folly*

        Pfeffer Six Dangerous Myths about Pay*

      Class: Stone Carver Video

      Team Contract Due


    5.Tuesday 9/12 Case Presentations

      Read: RP Hofstede Cultural Dimensions in People Management*

      Prepare: RP Case HCM Beverage Company


      Group Case Analysis #1 Due

      Case Preparation Questions: HCM Beverage Company

      Please use class concepts in your analysis and solution. Grading criteria are listed separately in this syllabus.

      Identify the core problems faced by Mark Johnson.

      What are the sources of the motivation problems at HCM?

      What external environmental factors may be impacting the motivations of both managers and factory workers in HCM?

      What action plan would Johnson take into his upcoming meeting with Patterson?

      What are the risks of your plan? What contingencies do you need to develop?


    6.Thursday 9/14 Negotiating Agreements


        Text GreenbergCh. 9 (pp. 199-213): Prosocial Behavior, Cooperation, Conflict*

        RP Fisher, Ury, & Patton, Don'tBargain over Positions*

        Weingart &Manage Intra-Team Conflict through Jehn Collaboration*

      Class: Negotiation Exercise and Debriefing


    7.Tuesday 9/19 Individual Decision Making


  • Text Greenberg Ch. 10 (pp. 224-238): Making Decisions in Organizations*
      • RP Hammond et al. The Hidden Traps of Decision Making*

      Prepare RP Brittain & Sitkin Carter Racing Case

      Class: Case Discussion: Carter Racing

      Discussion Questions: Carter Racing

      (Please prepare this case individually.)

        1.If you were in John Carter's position, would you race or not? Explain the reasons for your decision.

        2.What is the expected value of the various outcomes? In what way, if at all, does your analysis inform your decision?


    8. Thursday 9/21 Group Decision Making


        Text Greenberg Ch. 10 (pp. 238-253): Making Decisions in Organizations*

        RPScience Inquiry Faults Shuttle Management

      Exercise: Words-in-Sentences

    9. Tuesday 9/26 Formal Organizational Structure

      Read:Text GreenbergCh. 12: Designing Effective Organizations*

      In class: Continued Debrief of Words-in-Sentences Exercise (content)

    10. Thursday 9/28 Case Presentations

      Prepare: RP Case DMR Group, Inc. (A)


      Group Case Analysis #2 Due

      Case Preparation Questions: DMR Group, Inc. (A):

        What are the primary problems faced by DMR?

        How do the organization’s design, values, and growth influence the problems with its management practices?

        What advice would you give to Ducros?


    11.Tuesday 10/3 Power and Influence


  • Text Greenberg Ch. 6 (pp. 139-148): Power: Having an Impact on Others*
      • RP Kotter Power, Dependence, & Effective Management*

          Jick Influence Tactics*


    12.Thursday 10/5 Informal Structure: Social Networks


  • RP Krackhardt Informal Networks: The Company Behind the& Hanson?Chart*
      • Baker Bottlenecks and Bridges*

        Case Managing Xerox’s Multinational Development Center

      Class: Case Discussion: Managing Xerox’s Multinational Development Center

      Discussion Questions: Managing Xerox’s Multinational Development Center

        For each change in Clendenin’s social network throughout the case, diagram his social network (i.e., who is connected to whom), indicating strong/weak ties, bottlenecks, and bridges as best you can assess them.

        What techniques does Clendenin use to expand his social network?

        Why did some organization members not always appreciate Clendenin’s actions and growing organization?

    13. Tuesday 10/10 Organizational Culture and Change


        Text Greenberg Ch. 11(pp. 254 - 165): Culture, Creativity and Innovation*

        RP JickThe Challenge of Change*

      Class: Video clips

      Artifacts Exercise


    14.Thursday 10/12 Case Presentations


        RPCase Global Multi-products Chile


      Group Case Analysis #3 Due

      Case Preparation Questions - Global Multi-products Chile:

        What changes were made at Multi-Products Chile? Why were these changes made? What is your evaluation of these changes — do they make sense or not? Think about these questions in relation to the company’s strategy.

        What are the barriers to change that Bob Thompson faces?

        In Bob Thompson’s position at the end of the case, what would you do and how would you do it?


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